The twin sagas offer a snapshot of the contrasting moods at the rivals ahead of the new season, with Kane expected to slink back to Spurs reluctantly this week, while Lukaku could return to Stamford Bridge to huge fanfare.
If Chelsea complete a record-breaking deal for the Belgian, he promises to complete a side who toyed with Spurs for an hour before their intensity waned with a raft of second-half changes.
The Blues looked a class apart as they controlled possession but there was a familiar lack of a focal point from a fluid front three of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech, who scored either side of half-time.
The Belgian would add another dimension to the Blues, furnishing Tuchel’s European champions with both a poacher and a player capable of holding up the ball.
The head coach refused to be drawn on links with Lukaku while he remains on Inter Milan’s books, saying only that he was a “fantastic player”, but pointedly acknowledged that Chelsea are lacking a true centre-forward since Olivier Giroud’s departure.
“We could use a player used to play with their back to goal, whose strength is to keep possession from long balls so we can add this direct style of play to our portfolio,” Tuchel said.
“This is the characteristic of player that is not Tammy [Abraham], Timo or Kai, so this is a profile we don’t have in the squad.”
With Lukaku, Chelsea might have finished Spurs sooner and even after Tuchel introduced a host of forgotten players, including Tiemoue Bakayoko and Davide Zappacosta, the Blues were wasteful, with Spurs debutant Pierluigi Gollini making a string of saves.
By contrast, the return of Kane to this Spurs squad would only continue to paper over the many cracks and for the opening 45 minutes it was easy to see why the striker is desperate to force his way out this summer. Heung-min Son and Lucas Moura deputised through the middle, while Nuno Espirito Santo’s three-man midfield was overrun, with Dele Alli particularly struggling with N’Golo Kante.
Lucas continued his impressive pre-season with another goal, bringing Spurs back into the game with an effort which took a huge deflection, and Steven Bergwijn brought Spurs level with a low shot which squirmed through the goalkeeper’s legs, before Nuno made late changes of his own.
Spurs can take heart from the fightback but the first hour laid bare the scale of Nuno’s rebuilding job.
“There are a lot of players out,” the head coach said afterwards, and his squad could have a very different feel by the end of the transfer window.
In the immediate term, however, they are running out of time to get Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso — both absent last night — up to speed for the visit of Manchester City on Sunday week, while Bryan Gil and Cristian Romero, who is expected to complete a £47million move from Atalanta tomorrow, will need time to bed in, with the former still at the Olympics.
Despite the changes at Spurs over the summer, both sides felt as though they were continuing where they left off from last season, with Chelsea looking like European champions and Spurs a work in progress.